Slow expansion and low yields of willow short rotation coppice in Sweden; implications for future strategies
Journal article, 2011
About 16 000 ha of commercial willow Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) fields for production of biomass for energy were planted in the early 1990s in Sweden. The cultivated with SRC area has remained almost stable and was slightly decreased during the last years despite the incentives and predictions for drastic increases. Similar incentives and predictions in other countries have been lately launched. The bioenergy produced in the planted SRC areas in Sweden has been lower than anticipated, partly due to the lower than expected biomass yields and the termination of some willow SRC plantations. Explanations for the low yields are depicted based on analyzing the results of a survey where 175 willow SRC growers participated. Lower biomass yields are attributed to: (i) the low input in management activities; (ii) the choice of land for the willow SRC plantation; (iii) and the level of personal involvement of the farmer. Understanding the reasons to earlier years' performance of willow SRC is important for development of better performing systems in the future, in Sweden as well as in other countries. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.